Yo Diary

Will Budget 2018 consider the 90% of workers in our country that have no health insurance?

If there are 50 million MSMEs in India, only a few thousands of them are covered by health insurance, a recent report has found. KPMG India and FICCI jointly studied 219 MSMEs across 15 manufacturing and services sectors and analysed workforce welfare in terms of healthcare coverage. The study found that about 90% of the MSMEs do not have financial provisions for medical facilities for the family members of their employees. Read more at: //economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/62600345.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

Shashwat Sharma, Head, Insurance, KPMG says, "A fundamental reason for this is that most of them are not a part of the formal, organised sector. Moreover, the government's contribution to healthcare for MSMEs is only 30% as opposed to 85% in many advanced countries." He says that India's spending on healthcare as a percentage of GDP is only 1.4%. With 70% of healthcare in the country being under the private sector, it is imperative for insurers to seek commercially viable plans, which is often n ..

Government push needed

In the past, the World Bank has found that India spends about Rs 37,061 crore on healthcare, which is not an impressive figure. Citizens cover the expenses by themselves rather being funded by the government's healthcare, a pattern that is one of the highest in the world. Things were believed to be getting better when last year, the health Budget was reportedly Rs 48,853 crore against Rs 39,688 for 2016-17. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, free antenatal care on certain days, National Health Mission,tobacco control, etc. have been seen as initiatives that can work wonders in reconfiguring India's dismantled healthcare system, but how much of these have really helped the MSMEs?

The Jharkhand government is preparing to insure almost 60 lakh families under the National Food Security Act with Rs 2.3 lakh per year if one or more members of the family fall ill. The scheme covers BPL holders and unorganised workers such as construction workers, street vendors, MNREGA worker, rickshaw puller, rag picker, mine worker, and so on.

The most ambitious health insurance scheme by the Central Government is the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY). The largest of its kind in the world, RSBY's genesis lies in the Unorganized Workers Social Security Act (2008) enacted by the Central Government to provide for the social security and welfare of the unorganized workers. Under the scheme beneficiaries under RSBY are entitled to hospitalization coverage up to Rs. 30,000 per annum on a family floater basis, for most of the diseases that require..hospitalization.